With the 7.3-liter Godzilla engine, strong towing and payload capacities, and the Ford credibility, the F-250 is an all-rounder in all senses

The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for over four decades now, and this legacy seems sufficient to introduce it. The company has a range of pickup trucks, ranging from light-duty to heavy-duty and for varied purposes. The list is exhaustive, but the bottom line is that if you need a full-size pickup truck, no matter what the budget or usage pattern, Ford has an offering for you, right from F-150 to the F-750.

While the F-150 is the best-seller of the lot and suffices for most of the needs, people looking for a little heavy-duty work tend to hop on to the next available option – the F-250. The F-250 is the entry-level model pf the Super Duty series that also includes the F-350 and F-450. This isn’t outright expensive, comes with strong specs, and fits the bill for most people looking to use it as a work truck. It is offered even with premium features on the top trim.

Recently, the 2020 Ford F-250 arrived at the Top Speed headquarters in the mid-Lariat trim, and here are our impressions of this beast:

Ford F-250 Driving Impressions

Driving

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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Our test F-250 was packed with the 7.3-liter, V-8 gas-powered Godzilla engine under the hood that makes 430 ponies and 475 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to all the wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission. For an engine this big and heavy, the 7.3-liter Godzilla is impressively quiet and refined. The gearshifts are smooth, too, and the overall road mannerism is much better than you’d expect from a truck of this size.

Acceleration

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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There is ample power for you to sprint off the line pretty quickly. When unladen, the acceleration will put a smile on your face every time. It takes roughly eight seconds to hit the 60 mph mark from a standstill, which is pretty good for a truck that weighs over 6,500 pounds.

Brakes

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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No complaints on the braking front, either, as the brakes do a decent job to bring it to a standstill without any drama. It must be noted that the diesel engine in the lineup comes with exhaust braking that can be manually activated by the driver. It restricts the turbocharger’s exhaust flow to generate back pressure to slow the vehicle. It acts as engine braking, but with the turbocharger and exhaust’s support here.

Steering

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Drivetrain
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The biggest apprehension about this truck is its steering because of the thousands of ‘Death Wobble’ issues that have been reported in the last 15 years.

Ford has replaced various steering components including parts like steering rods and stabilizers, but it hasn’t helped and, over the generations, this issue still seems unresolved. We didn’t encounter any of it during our time with the truck, though. More about death wobble in the dedicated sub-section below.

Handling

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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Like I mentioned earlier, the handling is good for a truck this heavy. The steering is light, inputs are precise, and feedback is good, too. When unladen, it gallops forward like a hatch, but the ride is bouncy. On the flip side, the gearbox, which seems competent, is left hunting for gears when you make it work. It feels eager to shift and the short drive ratios will leave the engine jumping between gears. But, the good thing is that the gearbox is silky smooth and shifts aren’t jerky.

Off-Road

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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If you have to maneuver it over less-beaten paths occasionally, the truck will fit the bill. However, if you intend on taking it off the road often, we’d suggest you equip it with the Tremor package. It comes with stuff like electronic-locking rear differential, front limited-slip differential, performance shocks, Rock crawl and Trail Control modes, and so on.

Death Wobble

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Drivetrain
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Ford Super Duty trucks, especially the F-250 and the F-350, have had this long, persistent problem known as Death Wobble.

Death Wobble is triggered when you are traveling at over 50 mph and one of the tires hits a bump, dip, or groove in the road. The shaking can only be controlled by stopping or reducing speed. There’s nothing else you can do about it while it’s happening.

The issue has been prevalent since 2005, and it looks like Ford hasn’t been able to get its way around it. However, we didn’t experience it while the truck was with us for this review.

Does The Ford F-250 Make A Good Work Truck?

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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The Ford F-250 does very well as a work truck. It is sturdy, drives well, and will last long. Since it comes in multiple iterations, they just get more luxurious as you climb up the hierarchy. If you are planning on using it as a work truck, something like this Lariat will fit your bill well.

The base XL would do the job, too, but with a mid-level trim like Lariat, you can get access to more optional accessories and packages.

The towing capacity is rated at 18,600 pounds and payload capacity is rated at 3,880 pounds, both of which are more than the similarly-spec’d Chevy Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500.

Is The Ford F-250 Good For Off-Roading?

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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The Ford F-250 is pretty good for off-roading, provided it is equipped with the right accessories and packages. In the stock form, it is good enough when taken off the tarmac occasionally, but you will certainly need to upgrade it if your off-road usage is heavy. Our Crew Cab Lariat’s angles and dimensions were as follows:

Approach Angle 16.9 degrees
Breakover Angle 21.2 degrees
Departure Angle 21.1 degrees
Ground Clearance 8.5 inches

Ford also offers an economical FX4 Off-Road Package that includes:

  • Hill Descent Control
  • Specially tuned shocks
  • Transfer case and fuel tank skid plates
  • FX4 Off-Road decal for the cargo bed
  • Priced at $400
2020 Ford F-250 - Driven
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A more-accomplished Tremor Off-road package is also available for the taking. It can be had only on the four-wheel-drive models equipped with either the 7.3-liter V-8 or the 6.7-liter V-8. This package includes:

  • 18-inch low-gloss black-painted wheels
  • 35-inch off-road tires
  • Front springs for ride height increase
  • Electronic-locking rear differential
  • Front limited-slip differential
  • Performance shocks
  • Low-profile off-road running boards
  • Transfer case and fuel tank skid plates
  • Unique front air dam for increased approach angle and water wading
  • Rock Crawl and Trail Control modes
  • 35-inch spare tire
  • Tremor decal
  • Body-colored wheel lip moldings
  • Priced at $3,975

Ford F-250 Drivetrain, Towing, and Fuel Economy

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Drivetrain
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The Ford F-250 is offered with three engine options. The 6.2-liter, V-8 serves as the base engine and churns out 385 horses and 430 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox. The other engine is the 6.7-liter, V-8 TurboDiesel Powerstroke engine that makes 475 ponies and 1,050 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Drivetrain
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Our drive here came with the 7.3-liter, V-8 gas-powered Godzilla engine that is fairly new in Ford’s lineup.

The engine provides the best-in-class power and torque figures of 430 horses and 475 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a ten-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. Thanks to the shorter gear ratios, you will have ample torque at every gear, thus making it quite effortless for you to drive even with a heavy load to the back. It also comes with selectable drive modes – Normal, Tow/Haul, Eco and Deep, and Sand/Snow.

2020 Ford F-250 7.3 specifications
Engine 7.3-Liter V-8
Fuel Gasoline
Horsepower 430 HP
Torque 475 LB-FT
Transmission 10-Speed Auto
Drive 4WD
Max Towing Capacity 18,600 LBS
Fuel Economy 15.1 MPG (est)
Curb Weight 6.384 - 6,824 LBS
Fuel Capacity 34-48 Gallons
2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Drivetrain
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On a side note, Whipple has developed a 3.0-liter, Gen V, twin-screw supercharger head unit for this big mill. This Stage 2 supercharger kit will help produce 700 ponies and 750 pound-feet of torque. The supercharger is quite similar to the one Whipple makes for the 5.0-liter Coyote engine. Here, it uses the same triple intercooler setup, but will have much larger intercooler cores. However, we aren’t sure how it will be used and when it’ll arrive.

How Much Can The Ford F-250 Tow?

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The Ford F-250 with the 7.3-liter V-8 can tow up to 18,600 pounds. This is slightly better than the Silverado’s towing capacity of 18,500 when equipped with a 6.6-liter V-8 mill, and a lot better than Ram’s rating of 14,220 pounds when powered by a 6.4-liter, V-8 engine.

How Much Cargo Can The Ford F-250 Carry?

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The F-250’s payload capacity is rated at 3,880 pounds, beating the Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500 in this aspect as well. They can tow 3,751 pounds and 3,200 pounds respectively.

It must also be noted that the Ford F-250 comes in three different body styles with short and long beds. Here are the combinations:

  • Regular Cab with an eight-foot cargo bed
  • SuperCab with an eight-foot cargo bed and 6.75-foot cargo bed
  • Crew Cab with an eight-foot cargo bed and 6.75-foot cargo bed

What Is The Ford F-250’s Fuel Economy?

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The Ford F-250 is a heavy truck and features the high-displacement Godzilla mill with strong power outputs. This makes it not-so-efficient when it comes to fuel economy.

The Ford F-250 delivers 15.1 miles per gallon with this gas-powered engine. The Silverado delivers just 14.1 mpg, whereas the Ram 2500 takes the cake with a rating of 15.4 miles per gallon.

The F-250 also comes with a fuel tank that can gulp up to 48 gallons of gasoline in one go.

Ford F-250 Exterior Design

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The Ford F-250 is a big truck and commands a strong street presence.

It features a big grille with horizontal slats up front that are dipped in chrome. Our drive, however, came equipped with the Lariat Sport Package that blacked out all the bling. The headlights are quad-dual beam halogens as standard along with halogen fog lamps. LEDs can be had as an option. The sculpted hood features ‘Super Duty’ embossed on the lip, reminding you not to call it a heavy-duty like the Chevy and Ram.

It is 250 inches in length and looks mighty big in person. There’s nothing out-of-the-box on the side profile. Since our truck is equipped with the Lariat Sport package, it was riding on 20-inch black-painted aluminum wheels wrapped in all-terrain Michelin tires with white outline lettering. It even featured six-inch black running boards and ebony black fender vents. The Telescopic mirrors, or as Ford calls – PowerScope mirrors – also receive black mirror caps. This model has a rear overhang of 52 inches, which is one of the reasons for its not-so-good departure angle.

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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The rear features a simple power tailgate with the Ford logo and ‘Super Duty’ embossed on it. The taillights are standard affair. The Crew Cab model can be had with a 6.75-foot box or an eight-foot cargo box. While it doesn’t come with a Tonneau cover as standard, Ford has three optional covers. One is hard-folding, the other is retractable, and there’s also a soft-folding cover.

There is a sliding mirror and a high-mounted center stop taillight on the rear of the cabin. Ram and GMC have MultiFunction and MultiPro tailgates for their light-duty models, which could be offered on the heavy-duty models in the future. But, Ford has none for now, although it did introduce a versatile one on the 2021 F-150. We’ll need to see if that makes it to the Super Duty series or not, although it will be a good add on.

How Big Is The Ford F-250?

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The Ford F-250 is a pretty big vehicle, but it isn’t noticeably longer, wider, or taller than any of its immediate rivals. The three American manufacturers have trucks that are almost identical in terms of exterior measurements. The F-250 measures 250 inches in length, 80 inches in width, 81.5 inches in height. The Chevy Silverado 2500 is 249.95 inches long, just .05 inches smaller than the F-250, 81.85 inches wide, and 79.82 inches tall. The Ram measures just 238.8 inches in length and 79.5 inches in width, making it the smallest in both aspects, and 80.2 inches tall, slightly better than the Silverado.

The F-250’s wheelbase measures 159.8 inches, Silverado’s is 158.94 inches, whereas the Ram 2500 has the shortest wheelbase that measures 149 inches. The F-250’s front track is 68.3 inches wide, Silverado has a 68.1-inch wide track, and the Ram has a 68.7-inch track. The rear track width measures 67.2 inches for the F-250, 68.3 for the Silverado, and 68.1 for the Ram 2500. If you compare these numbers, the F-250 has the biggest difference between the front and rear track width when compared to the Chevy and Ram, although it’s just 1.1 inches.

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Exterior
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Ford F-250 vs competition - exterior dimensions
2020 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Crew Cab
Length 250 238.8 249.95
Width 80 79.5 81.85
Height 81.5 80.2 79.82
Wheelbase 159.8 149 158.94
Front Track 68.3 68.7 68.1
Rear Track 67.2 68.1 68.3

How Much Does The Ford F-250 Weigh?

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The Ford F-250’s curb weight ranges from 6,384 pounds to 6,824 pounds. The Crew Cab F-250 weighs 6,568 pounds. This is on par with the Chevy Silverado’s 6,562 pounds

Ford F-250 Interior Design

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The Ford F-250 is quite spacious on the inside and everything is well-laid out in terms of aesthetics as well as ergonomics.

The meaty steering wheel is perfectly-sized, although the buttons on the spokes could be a size bigger. The MID screen in the instrument cluster, which has tachometer and speedometer dials, throws the standard drive-related data. The center console houses the touchscreen infotainment system with and HVAC controls underneath it, and air vents on either side. There are cubby holes and cup holders as well between the front seats. Some other features on the F-250 Lariat include:

  • Power adjustable pedals
  • Cruise control
  • Power outlets on the dash and rear-side of the console
  • Tailgate-mounted rearview camera
  • Blind-Spot Information System
  • Lockable under-seat storage
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Stuff like wireless charging pad, trailer-tow camera system, heated steering wheel, 180 or 360-degree camera is optional.

Is the Ford F-250’s Infotainment Easy to Use?

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Interior
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The F-250 Lariat’s touchscreen runs on the SYNC 3 infotainment system. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It isn’t the best system out there, but works well considering it is a work truck. It comes with a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 10 speakers as standard, which includes a sub-woofer as well. SiriusXM Satellite Radio and 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that can be used for 10 devices come as standard too. Navigation, however, is optional.

Is The Ford F-250 Spacious?

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When you drive around a truck this big, this question seems like a no-brainer. In the first row, the F-250 has headroom of 40.8 inches, legroom of 43.9 inches, shoulder room of 66.7 inches, and hip room of 62.5 inches. The Chevy Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500 offer 43.03 and 40.9 inches of headroom, 44.53 and 40.9 inches of legroom, 66.02 and 65.9 inches of shoulder room, and 61.18 and 52.9 inches of hip room, respectively.

The F-250 beats its rivals in all the aspects when you step into the second row.

The measurements are as follows for the F-250 – 40.4 inches of headroom, 43.6 inches of legroom, 65.9 inches of shoulder room, and 64.7 inches of hip room. The Chevy and Ram have headroom measuring 40.12 and 39.8 inches, legroom of 43.4 and 40.2 inches, shoulder room measuring 65.3 and 65.6 inches, and hip room of 60.24 and 62.7 inches at the back, respectively.

2020 Ford F-250 - Driven Interior
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Ford F-250 vs competition - interior dimensions
2020 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Crew Cab
1st Row Headroom 40.8 40.9 43.03
1st Row Leg Room 43.9 40.9 44.53
1st Row Shoulder Room 66.7 65.9 66.02
1st Row Hip Room 62.5 52.9 61.18
2nd Row Headroom 40.4 39.8 40.12
2nd Row Leg Room 43.6 40.2 43.4
2nd Row Shoulder Room 65.9 65.6 65.3
2nd Row Hip Room 64.7 62.7 60.24

Ford F-250 Pricing

The Ford F-250 starts around $35,000 and a fully-loaded top-trim equipped with optional packages and accessories can get dangerously close to the six-digit figure. Here are the starting prices of the trims:

2020 Ford F-250 Prices
Ford F-250 XL $34,035
Ford F-250 XLT $38,815
Ford F-250 Lariat $46,930
Ford F-250 King Ranch $59,335
Ford F-250 Platinum $66,225
Ford F-250 Limited $83,930

Is The Ford F-250 Better Than The Ram 2500?

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While Ram has been kicking ass with the 1500 models and the recently-launched TRX, the heavy-duty trucks still have some catching up to do. The one closest to the F-250 Lariat is the Ram 2500 Laramie. All trims come with different grille designs and all the models have the most bling compared to their respective rivals. It isn’t the biggest vehicle of the lot, but the road presence is unparalleled. It is decently loaded on the inside and is quite spacious too.

The 6.4-liter, V-8 gas-powered mill falls in line with the Godzilla mill. It makes 410 horses and 429 pound-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It boasts of the lowest towing and payload capacities, which are rated at 14,220- and 3,200 pounds. The truck can be had in two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations. The Ram 2500 series starts at $33,895 and goes well over $60,000 for the top trim. The Laramie Crew Cab trim will cost you $49,550, making it a few hundred dollars pricier than the Ram F-250 Lariat, but over a thousand bucks cheaper than the Silverado 2500 HD LTZ.

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Ford F-250 vs Ram 2500
2020 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine 7.3-Liter V-8 6.4-Liter V-8
Fuel Gasoline Gasoline
Horsepower 430 HP 410 HP
Torque 475 LB-FT 429 LB-FT
Transmission 10-Speed Auto 8-Speed Auto
Drive 4WD 4WD
Max Towing Capacity 18,600 LBS 14,220 LBS
Fuel Economy 15.1 MPG (est) 15.4 MPG (est)
Curb Weight 6.384 - 6,824 LBS 6,803 LBS
Fuel Capacity 34-48 Gallpns 31 Gallons

Read our full review on the Ram 2500

Is The Ford F-250 Better Than The Chevrolet Silverado 2500?

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The 2020 Chevy Silverado saw some big changes when compared to the model it replaces. Every trim in the lineup comes with a different grille design. The F-250 Lariat takes on the Silverado 2500 HD LTZ and as is with almost all the trucks in this segment, it comes with oodles of chrome on the outside. On the outside, the Silverado 2500 LTZ comes with LED daytime running lights, headlights, taillights, and fog lamps. On the inside, it is mighty spacious and feels quite premium as well.

It comes with multiple engine options, but the one that is closest to Ford’s Godzilla is the 6.6-liter, V-8 engine that makes 401 horses and 464 pound-feet of torque. Although it is the torque is more than the Ram, and torque matters more in heavy-duty trucks. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, but you can opt for the Allison 10-speed auto box as well. The Silverado 2500 HD can tow up to 18,500 pounds and haul up to 3,751 pounds. The truck can be had in two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations. The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD starts at $36,195, but the LTZ trim will make you lighter by $50,700, making it the most expensive offering of the three. The price could go up all the more if you opt for additional accessories.

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Ford F-250 vs Chevrolet Silverado HD
2020 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Crew Cab
Engine 7.3-Liter V-8 6.6-Liter V-8
Fuel Gasoline Gasoline
Horsepower 430 HP 401 HP
Torque 475 LB-FT 464 LB-FT
Transmission 10-Speed Auto 6-Speed Auto
Drive 4WD 4WD
Max Towing Capacity 18,600 LBS 18,500 LBS
Fuel Economy 15.1 MPG (est) 14.1 MPH (est)
Curb Weight 6.384 - 6,824 LBS 6.562 LBS
Fuel Capacity 34-48 Gallpns 31 Gallons

Read our full driven review on the Chevrolet Silverado 2500

Ford F-250 Safety and Warranty

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In terms of safety and security, the Lariat trim isn’t that loaded. You get just front and curtain airbags, child tethers, SOS post-crash alert system, remote keyless entry, passive anti-theft system, and MyKey features. You can opt for optional assistance systems by paying some extra moolah.

Ford offers a 5-year/60,000 miles Roadside Assistance and powertrain warranty on the super duty trucks. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine, however, comes with a 5-year/100,000-mile warranty. As for the rivals, Ram provides a 5-year/100,000 miles Roadside Assistance and a 5-year/100,000 miles limited warranty on the diesel powertrain on its trucks. Chevrolet also offers the exact same warranty and roadside assistance on its HD range of trucks.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

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